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British Prime Ministers Questions

News/Business. (2013) The economy, housing benefits and same-sex marriage. New.

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Us 6, United Kingdom 4, Northern Ireland 4, Uk 4, Samsung 2, Ireland 2, Afghanistan 2, Britain 2, Somalia 2, Jim Shannon 1, Manchester City 1, United Nations 1, Howard Davis 1, Ian Swales 1, Stockton 1, Amy Walter 1, Labour 1, David Cameron 1, Len Mccluskey 1, Mr. John Leach 1,
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  CSPAN    British Prime Ministers Questions    News/Business.  (2013) The economy,  
   housing benefits and same-sex marriage. New.  

    February 10, 2013
    9:00 - 9:35pm EST  

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," amy walter discusses the politics of gun control and immigration legislation. then a guest with details on a new report on civic activities by young people. and the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction talks about how much money has been spent in afghanistan and what has been accomplished. "washington journal," live@7:00 a.m. on c-span. >> as you might expect from samsung, given the breath -- of product we have, one area we are investing in a lot is multiscreen conductivity. we already see multiple consumers multitasking -- you are watching tv but also texting on your phone are looking at the internet on your tablet, something like that.
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how do we connect those devices to each other? link them to the cloud or the internet? one very good example is the galaxy camera. we launched the camera last year. the camera is now built in with three g and four g connectivity. you take photos instantly and to a wireless network upload them to a website or social media. bringing wireless connectivity to a camera. linking products like that, linking them to the internet, to each other, that is a big opportunity for us. >> the future of consumer technology with samsung vice president for strategy david steel from this year's consumer electronics show. monday night on a c-span2. rex british prime minister david cameron took questions from members of the house of commons during his weekly question time session on the state of the british economy,
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housing benefits, and the passing of the same sex marriage failed. on tuesday, members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, 400-175. this is just over 30 minutes. >> to the prime minister. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties i shall have further such meetings later today. >> thanking my right honorable friend to that answer, and having given the honorable friend notice -- particularly fair and transparent, and modern, can my right honorable friend say that in response to the many concerns in yesterday's debate, that civil partnerships
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are open to heterosexual couples on an equal basis with homosexual couples? >> i am grateful to my wonderful friend and forgiving the these questions. i would listen carefully to what he is saying. i am a great supporter of marriage. i want to support marriage, defend marriage, encourage marriage, and the great thing about last night's vote is that two gay people who love each other will now be able to get married. i feel that is important, and we should be promoting that rather than in any way weakening it. >> mr. speaker, i want to ask the prime minister about the bedroom tax. a woman has twins sons that are in the army. the bedroom tax -- she will be charged more for their bedrooms. she says, i resent the fact that both my sons are defending our country, and in return they
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will not have a home to come home to when they get their much-needed leave. what is your answer? >> let me make clear. this is not a tax. this is a benefit. i would make two points in respect to the specific case that he raises. first of all, all the time that labour was in government, if you were in a private sector rented home and you were in receipt of housing benefits, you did not get any benefit for empty rooms. i think that is important. it is only fair we treat people in social housing the same way. the second point is that if anybody is away from home, obviously their earnings are not counted. therefore the benefits that person are likely to go up. >> mr. speaker, i look forward to explaining why her paying 25 pounds a week more from april is
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not a tax on her. as for his point about the private rented sector, i think he misunderstands the point of social housing. the purpose is to protect the most vulnerable. according to the government's own figures, 2/3 of the people hit are disabled. let me tell the prime minister about an e-mail i received last week. my wife is disabled, has a degenerative condition and is cared for in bed. due to her illness and my condition, i usually sleep in the spare bedroom. why is it fair for him and hundreds of thousands of others disabled people like him to be hit by the bedroom tax? >> as with every honorable member, if he wants me or the department to look at a specific case, of course i will. let me again make some detailed
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points. first of all, there is a fund to deal with difficult cases. let me also make the basic argument of fairness that he seems to miss. if someone is in private rented housing and receives no housing benefit, you do not get money for an next her room. if you are in private housing and do get housing benefit, you do get money for a next her room. there is a basic argument of fairness. why should we do more for people in social housing on housing benefit than in private housing on housing benefit? he has got to engage -- the housing benefit bill is now 23 billion pounds a year. we know that he is against capping welfare and we know he is against restricting welfare here below the rate of increase in wages. we know all the things he is against. we are beginning to wonder what
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on earth he is for. >> at miliband. >> he is spending more than 8 billion pounds and he plans on housing benefit because of his economic failure during this parliament. i say to him, the whole point of social housing is to protect families, including the disabled. it does not sound like he is going to do anything for military families or the disabled, but let us talk about a group of people he is moved by. i have a letter here sent on his behalf by the conservative party treasurer about the so-called mansion tax. it says "we promise that no homes tax will be introduced during the course of this parliament." it goes on, "to keep the tax man out of your home -- please help by donating today and supporting the no homes tax campaign." can the prime minister explain, what is it about the plight of those people that he finds so much more compelling than that of those hit by the bedroom tax?
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>> if he is in favor of the mansion tax, why did he not introduce one in the 13 years in government? if he is so passionate about social housing, why did you not build any when he was in government? if he thinks we are spending too much on housing benefit, he just said the bill is going up, why does he oppose each attempt remake to get the welfare welfare bill under control? the fact is the public can see we are in the side of people who work hard to do the right thing. all he can ever do is spend more money. >> i say to the prime minister that he should not get so hat -- he has nearly half his parliamentary party behind him. the policy is not just unfair.
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it is not going to work either. 4700 people are going to be hit by the bedroom tax -- there are 23 council problems for them to move to. can the prime minister explain how that will work? what this government is doing is building more houses and controlling bills. but frankly, the question is one -- if he opposes a welfare, opposes an increase on welfare, opposes reform of disability benefits, opposes each and every welfare change we make, how on earth is he going to get control of public spending. >> the title prime minister's questions -- now, i saw what he might say. what he might say is to move to the private rental sector
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because there are not enough council properties. this is where -- he gets up to say what those people should do -- this is where it is not going to work out. another woman who wrote him he had said, "my rent for my family home --" i do not know why they are groaning. there are thousands of their constituents who are going to be hit by this. she says "my rent for my family home is at present 65.68, where a one bedroom in the private sector would cost over 100 pounds. how can it possibly make sense to force people into a situation where they cost the state more, not less, by moving into the private rented sector? >> what this government is doing is building more homes. if he supports that, will he
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now support our changes to the planning system and the new homes bonus? will you support the things that will get more homes built and more people jobs? we have one million next her people working in the private sector. that is what he has got to engage in. he has absolutely no suggestions for how to get on top of welfare, get our deficit down, get our economy moving, or do anything else. >> today we discover he has not even got a clue about his own policy. his answers remind us of what his party and country are saying about him. the only people he listens to are a small group of rich and powerful people at the top. that is why he has come up with a policy that is unworkable and unfair. he is a prime minister who is weak, incompetent, and totally out of touch. >> that is pathetic scripted
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rubbish that we get used to every wednesday. on the issue of who listens to hill, i have a very clear idea of who he listens to, because we heard it in a the lse lecture by len mccluskey, who said this -- "i met ed miliband and he asked me this question -- if you had three wishes, three things you would like us to do if we got back into power , what would you like them to be? his answer -- trade union freedom, trade union freedom, trade union freedom. that is who he wants to be the fairy godmother to. >> at the time of the strategic
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defense and security review two and a half years ago, my friend said, "my strong view is that this structure will require year on year real-time growth in the defense budget in the years beyond 2015." does that remain his view, and has he heard any similar view expressed by the leader of the opposition? >> it does remain my view, but i am afraid to say that as far as i can see i am the only party leader who were -- believes that in the years beyond this parliament we should increase defense spending in the way he says. but my the good news is that it is agreed on policy that the difference equipment program -- defense equipment program does need increases up to 2015. that is very important for us to be able to plan the program that will give us the best armed forces anywhere in the world. >> mr. speaker, the budget for
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office responsibility -- officer budget responsibility, rather. has estimated they will pay 5 billion pounds or less for the bankers. they promised in april to inflict a 500 million pound cut in the second empty bedroom tax. how can he justify taking from the poor and giving to the rich. ? >> we have introduced a bank levy that we think is a better answer than a bonus tax. it will be paid every year. it should raise considerably more than the bonus tax. what the chancellor has done it when the bank levy has not come up to the amounts we need is to increase it. >> i remind the house of my declared interests. tomorrow these prime minister
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will go to brussels to argue for a substantial reduction in funding. will he ensure that any reduction applies to farmers right across europe, and not just those in the uk? will he also make sure he does not fall into the trap made by his predecessors last time around? when pressing for cuts, ended up with a cut to the part that everybody thinks is worth well, which is the rural development program and the environment. >> my friend speaks very knowledgeably about this. these are going to be extremely difficult negotiations. obviously, our aim is for the significant cut i have spoken about. the point about agriculture is important, particularly the flexibility we require to make sure things can continue to succeed. >> we know the prime minister has met lots of millionaires, but has he ever met anyone who
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will lose their income -- home because of this bedroom tax? >> i hold constituency surgeries -- surveys and listen to all the cases the leader of the opposition has brought up today. i have many forces who live in my constituency. what they say to me is that they want a government who is on the side of the people who will work hard and do the right thing. they support the fact that we are capping welfare, getting on top of immigration and clearing up the mess left by the other party. >> today is the united nations international day of zero tolerance to female genital mutilation. does the prime minister agree that britain should be doing all it can to combat this dreadful abuse of the human rights of women and girls overseas and here in the uk? >> i completely agree. she is right to raise this. the government has made progress by chairing a for them to look right across, including
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what we do overseas in terms of our aid program and trying to prevent the horrific practice of female genital mutilation and also make sure that here the crown prosecution services and others are aware of the law and do everything they can to make sure it is properly prosecuted. >> can the prime minister confirm that atos have declared that richard the third is fit for work? [laughter]wax that is not a constituency case that has come my way. all i can say is i hope it will engender a great historical understanding of these events amongst all our people and will be a great boost to the city of leicester. >> ian swales. ofthis week's announcement the work of the insolvency service at stockton is moving to newcastle -- it is the latest in a long series of similar announcements affecting the
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valley, including the closure of the hm rc office by the previous government. will the prime minister look to bring extra work to the office since dr. in and move another public-sector agency to the valley? wax i will look very carefully at what my honorable friend says. of course we want to ensure that public-sector jobs are fairly distributed around the country, but we have to be frank and say the real need is a rebalancing with growth in the private sector to make up for the fact that product -- public- sector jobs have declined. that is why the jobs have more than upset -- offset the decline in employment. that is why unemployment is falling around the country. >> the prime minister may not be aware of a poll by the bbc in northern ireland that shows that in all six counties of northern ireland there is now a clear majority in favor of the union.
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people right across northern ireland recognize that when it comes to being part of this united kingdom, we are better off together. >> i sometimes try to avoid opinion polls, so i have not seen that one. it sounds like it is one that will lift the spirits of almost everyone in this house, because we believe in a united kingdom and in northern ireland being part of that united kingdom. >> can the prime minister reassure his house that he still believes in increasing spending on the nhs and making sure those funds go to the front-line doctors and nurses at the front line of our service? wax i can certainly give my honorable friend that assurance. that is why we committed to increasing nhs spending during each year in this parliament, and are on course to do that. we want to make sure the money goes to the front line, and that is why the number of managers and administrators is down and the number of clinical staff is
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up. >> was of the double-dip recession, the slowdown in deficit reduction, or the projected 60% increase in national that over the next five years that led the prime minister to state he had full confidence in his chancellor? >> i have confidence in the chancellor he cut the deficit is down 25%, there are one million extra private sector jobs and we are cleaning up mess made by the party opposite. >> in dover, plans are moving forward for the building of a new hospital, after a decade in which local hospital services were decimated. can i say that we need to increase investment in the nhs and ensure a real focus on the front line? wax on this day particularly when we discuss what happened at the stafford hospital, it is a day to talk about the importance of care in our health service, the importance of the front-line, and above all the importance of really
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looking at quality and listening to patients. under this government, of course resources have been constrained, for all the reasons we discussed. but we did make a conscious choice to put more money into the nhs and get that to the front-line. that is why there are 5900 more doctors and 1900 -- 19,000 fewer nonclinical staff. the money is going to the front lines, but the focus needs to be on the quality and the patient's. he >> jim shannon. >> does the prime minister share the concern of the democratic unionist party about suicide levels in our society? in light of this debate, will he assure me and my party of the government's support to raise awareness of the issue and work across the devoted -- work to tackle the scourge across the united kingdom have great britain and northern ireland? wax i commend the honorable gentleman for bringing this issue forward.
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the issue of suicide is one we often do not talk about enough in our society and country, and i think it is absolutely right to do so. it is a shocking statistic that in northern ireland almost six times the number of people killed in road traffic accidents are lost to suicide. raising awareness of the issue and insuring a proper cross government strategy to help people deal with this is vital, and they are right to raise it. >> as a result of the financial mess the labour government lefty country -- -- left the country in -- >> order -- let's have a bit of order for mr. john leach. >> local councils has basis top a settlement as most of the other departments. does the prime minister share
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my dismay that manchester city council is choosing to close libraries, leisure centers and the warden service, while of the same time they are happy to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on an alicia keys concert and leave 100 million pounds in reserves sitting in the bank? >> my honorable friend makes an important point. of coarse councils face difficult spending decisions, but if you look at the level of spending and brands they are still getting it is in many cases equivalent to what they're getting under the last government. obviously the economy has declined since then, so we have to cut our costs accordingly. they should be held accountable for the decisions that they made. in some cases there can be little doubt the councils are making high-profile cuts to try to make a point, and they should not be damaging peoples livelihoods. they should be doing the the best for their cities. >> will the prime minister confirm for the record that thanks to his cuts to the job care element of the working tax credit, families with children
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are losing up to 1500 pounds a year? >> what has happened is we increased it by 390 pounds in the early budgets of this government. if we look at the benefits for a two parent, two child family, they will be getting over 1500 pounds extra this year, 30 pounds a week, compared to 2010. i'm afraid the honorable gentleman is wrong. >> will the prime minister pay tribute to the new president of somalia, whose government has made remarkable progress over the last few months? although there is still a long way to go, we agree that the somali peace process is a really good example of written combining aid and development with energizing the neighboring states and the diplomatic community worldwide. can he tell the house what role he envisages for the somali diaspora here in the uk? >> my friend makes a very important point.
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anybody wondering the relevance of somalia to hear in the uk, we have to remember that this country has been the author of huge prop -- problems, from terrorism, piracy, and mass migration. even the most hardened skeptic of our aid budget, i would say this is a case where engagement and diplomacy can help the country to mend itself for the future. in terms of the diaspora, i hope they will give new said --. or to the new president who is clearly demonstrating a huge grip in his country mending problems that have the double the country for so long. >> the prime minister's career probably peaked when he was a backbench member of the foreign affairs committee -- home affairs committee in 2005. will he revive his progressive courage of that time when he looks at the report from the parliamentary group on the awful problems of new drugs on the market that are not controlled in any way?
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>> i am grateful for the gentleman's view of my career trajectory. i will not ask him about his. for hats we can have an agreement about it afterwards. on the report i worked on, i learned some important lessons from that. i think the priority we should give in terms of attacking drugs, education and treatment. those are the two key arms of what needs to be done. what i do not believe we should be legalizing any drugs that are currently a legal. in terms of current legal highs and problems relating to substances like -- we need to look carefully at evidence of what will work best. >> over 80,000 people have benefited from our policy of raising the threshold at which people start to pay tax. this morning, the institute for fiscal studies confirmed that
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this policy is right, and that those who have the broadest shoulders are bearing the greatest burden of tax. in the light of this, will the government commits to raising the threshold at which people out -- pay tax to 10,000 pounds in this budget? >> i think the honorable lady for what she said. she is absolutely right. raising the threshold at which people start to pay taxes is absolutely right. what it is meant is on minimum wage, working full the tax bill has been cut by one half. that is a huge change to help people who work hard and want to do the right thing. she mentioned the fiscal studies green budget out this morning. i have not had much time to study it, but one thing did standup. on the issue of fairness it says this -- the whole set of tax and benefit changes introduced between the start of 2010 and 2015 will hit the
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richest households hardest. this government is fair, and it is helping the hardest working. >> the leader of the opposition asked the prime minister a very simple question to which he gave no adequate reply, so i will ask it again. what is the difference between a bedroom tax on the disabled and a mansion tax on millionaires? >> i do not accept that the bedroom tax is a tax -- it is about benefit. the fact is that as a country we are spending 23 billion pounds on housing benefit. we have to have a debate in this country. the last government said we had to have a debate about that. indeed, it featured in the manifesto on which all of them were elected. since they have moved to the opposition benches, they have given up all pretense of responsibility at all. >> can the prime minister
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reconcile his recent comments on the need to accelerate major infrastructure projects with the government's decision to postpone forming a policy on airports until after the next general election? will he reconsider? >> i listen carefully to what my honorable friend says. he will find that if you look said what sir howard davis has said in terms of his review, this is a very complicated issue that merits proper examination. we need as a country to make major decisions on airports and airport capacity. we should aim as far as possible to try to make these decisions on a cross party basis. i hope the report will help that to happen. on same-sext's vote marriage is widely regarded as a historic vote. does the prime minister agree with me that this vote is hiv to all of the people down the decades to have worked -- in all
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parties and no party, the hind the scenes and in public, who worked for such equality? does he also agree with me that the vote proves the arc of history bends slowly, but bands toward justice? >> i agree very much with the honorable lady. last night's vote will be seen not just as one that ensured a proper elements of equality, but also that it helps us to build a stronger and fairer society. i thought many of the speeches made last night were very moving, very emotional, and i pay tribute to all those people who have made the case, some for many years, that they want their love to count the same way that a man and woman's love for each other count. that is what we have opened in this country, and that is why i am proud the government has brought it forward. >> for years, young people have
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had some of the lowest per pupil school funding in the country. this is now becoming critical for down to use such as east riding of yorkshire are. can they look closely at not just the authorities, but specifically the low level of per pupil funding that they receive? >> i will look closely at what my honorable friend is said. i will make a couple points. one, within the education budget we have prioritized the per-pupil funding, so there has not been a reduction in per- pupil funding. they can look forward to future years the sorts of budget they will have given the children coming to the school. the second thing we have done through the academy program is to encourage the devolution of more of the schools budget to the schools directly. there is more we can achieve on that agenda. >> the prime minister has said he will give the public a strong voice in the nhs. his former self -- health secretary has said they will put
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patients at the center of nhs. why then was a motion to strengthen patient and public involvement in the new patient watchdog rejected by the government last night? >> we do want to see patients have a stronger voice in the nhs. we are about to debate at some length the were -- how that is done. one of the most important ways of doing this will make sure that the mandate has at its heart quality nursing, quality care, and the voice of patients. we also need to look at how healthwatch will work to figure -- ensure it is truly independent. we have to understand that some of the ways we have tried to empower patients in the past, and the report goes into this, some of the ways, always with good intentions from both sides of the house, to give patients a better voice, we have to listen to what it says -- it has not worked. >> with more women in work than ever before, more men in work
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than ever before, more jobs created in the private sector, does the prime minister not agree with me that not only is the chancellor's plan working, but that the economy is beginning to turn the corner? >> i am grateful to my honorable friend. i think we should listen very carefully to what the governor of the bank of england's that is. he has said that growth is slower than we would like, but the economy is moving in the right direction and the rebalancing is taking place. of the things that need to be fixed in our economy in terms of bank lending and the housing supply, they are being fixed. that is this government is determined to do. >> one of my constituents has learned that when the bedroom tax is introduced she will 24 pounds a week to live on. she is so anxious about how she will manage, she is having cognitive behavior therapy.
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her anxiety is totally understandable. does the prime minister agree with me that those who should be receiving cognitive behavioral therapy are the ones, namely his ministers, who think that she could live on 24 pounds a week? >> i think that the parliament has to address that for 13 years in government they were perfectly content to have a housing benefit system for people in private sector housing where there was no extra benefit for empty rooms. i cannot understand why they cannot see it is unfair to have one rule for people who have the benefit of social housing with a lower rent and another rule for people in private sector accommodation. week after week, labour mp's and the labor leader have opposed this, that, and everything we do to deal with the mess that they left and fill in the deficit they left us. until they can learn they have to take in some responsibility to take in some responsibility for the mess they left